12 Ingenious Ways To Separate Out Your Open Plan Living Space

All the room dividers and decor hacks you need to master your open plan layout.
Creating separate 'zones' will help you get the most out of your open plan living space
Mixed Retailers
Creating separate 'zones' will help you get the most out of your open plan living space

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, HuffPost UK may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

Bright, airy and great for bringing the whole family together, open plan homes have a free-flowing feel thanks to fewer walls and more flexible, usable space.

But while knocking down interior walls to create one big living space is bound to make your pad the perfect place for parties, it does mean sacrificing separation and privacy day-to-day. (As someone who’s currently trying to work, eat, cook, and chill in one large room, I can fully relate to the struggle!)

So what’s the solution? Well, apparently, creating separate ‘zones’ within your layout is the key to getting the most out of your open plan room, without it merging into one big purposeless space. And here are 12 interesting ways to do so:

Show separation the Scandi way with floor to ceiling wooden slats
A beautiful feature that’ll help divvy up your open plan area, simply choose the amount of slats you need to subtly partition your space. If you’ve got strong DIY skills and a good toolkit, you could probably just cut and fix some wooden slats yourself - but the great thing about these ones is that they don’t require drilling, and are therefore great for renters!
Break up an open plan kitchen and living space with a breakfast bar
For creating some distinction between your kitchen and living area, you can’t beat a good island or breakfast bar. But if construction work isn’t on the cards, then placing a rustic bar table against the wall at the end of your kitchen area can really do the trick. Classy and contemporary, this one is just perfect!
Lay a large area rug to create differences in flooring
Adding different flooring levels and textures to your space is a really effective way to create different zones – but a large rug can also do the job! A far more affordable option, a well-laid area rug can really help provide distinction between a living area and kitchen.
Use a corner sofa to create a closed-off living space
If you’re looking to master the layout of your open plan space, then you should consider investing in a corner sofa. When placed in the middle of the space – rather than tucked up against a wall – the sharp angle of the sofa will help naturally create zones and pathways within a large room that lacks separation.
Divvy up your space with an open-backed bookcase
Open shelving units and bookcases are great because they make attractive room partitions while still letting light pass through. This modular set comes in a modern and stylish gold and pine finish, and will make the perfect divider between your seating area and working area.
Or go one step further by picking one that doubles as a desk
What’s better than a see-through bookcase to separate off your work space, you ask? A see-through bookcase that also has another workspace! Perfect if you occasionally have more than one person working from home, but can’t fit two desks in your work nook.
Hang beads or sheer curtains from a tension rod
Perfect for rental properties where drilling isn’t possible, this clever curtain rod can be extended in both width and height to neatly and easily fit into most hard-to-install spaces. Just attach a sheer curtain, blind or beads to fully section off your desired area.
Use a glass panel to differentiate between your dining and living space
If you’re more after stylish separation than actually providing privacy, then you can’t go wrong with a sleek glass panel partition. Easily mounted to the floor and ceiling, this glass panel comes in a chic black solid wood frame and would make an aesthetic addition to any modern home.
Cover a certain area with stand-out wallpaper
While you might not want to paint one area of your open plan space a completely different colour to the rest, covering it in a statement wallpaper that features complementary colours is a great way to create zones - while still ensuring the room looks good together as a whole.
Pick a desk that comes with its own bookcase divider
Combining two pieces of furniture in one, this bookcase desk is ideal for those who work from home – but are lacking the space for a separate home office. Tucked away behind the open shelving, you’ll be able to get on with your 9 to 5 in your very own home working nook!
Use a console table to mark out the end of a zone
To make a console table into the perfect partition, pile it high with your favourite plants and place it between your dining and seating area to create some separation. This stylish one pairs earthy moss green with metallic copper, and will definitely help you make a lovely leafy statement.
Or just go for a classic solid wood folding room divider
Oh yeah … I knew there was something that was created exactly for this purpose! A little less subtle than the other options, this room partition can be placed in practically any position thanks to its double-sided hinges, and will smartly section off any area.

Before You Go